Captain Victor Mitchell loved working with dogs. But after 20 years devoted to developing and leading the canine unit for the Charlottesville Police Department, he decided it was time to make a change. He took the sergeant’s exam and was promoted. Surprised to find how much he enjoyed supervision, he set his sights on becoming a lieutenant. “I knew attending the National Criminal Justice Command College would go a long way in helping me achieve that goal,” he says.
As Mitchell sees it, one of the most important insights he gained from the Command College was the importance of relationship-building with counterparts in other agencies as well as within his own organization. “By building relationships, you gain access to other people’s experiences and perspectives,” he explains. “These relationships also provide a starting point when you work together.”
Mitchell also learned that listening carefully is one of the key ways to gain full value from relationships. “If you’re focusing on what you intend to say while the other person is speaking, you’re going to miss a lot,” he says. “The best ideas often come from other people.”
A year after he completed the program, Mitchell was promoted to lieutenant. “The knowledge I gained from the Command College helps me every day as a bureau commander,” he says. “It was one of the most worthwhile programs I’ve ever attended during my 30-year career.”